Andrés Iniesta Luján is a professional footballer from Spain, born on May 11, 1984. He now plays as a midfielder for the J1 League team Vissel Kobe.
Iniesta, who is regarded as one of the best midfielders of all time, has spent the majority of his career with Barcelona, where he captained the team for three years.
Early life and Education
Andrés Iniesta was born in Fuentealbilla, Spain, on May 11, 1984, to José Antonio and Mara Luján.
In Albacete, his father was a well-known businessman.
Andrés grew up in a comfortable environment, and his passion for football was instilled in him since he was a child.
At the age of 10, his father enrolled him in the ‘Albacete’ youth academy, where he excelled.
Two years later, when competing in a competition, he caught the attention of major Spanish teams for the first time.
His father’s connections with the management of ‘FC Barcelona’ had Andrés sent for a trial, in which he succeeded.
Iniesta was not even a teenager when he joined Barcelona’s youth academy “La Masia,” and he was the academy’s youngest player, which sparked controversy among the management.
He gradually developed into the academy’s best player, eventually becoming captain of their ‘Under-15’ squad.
He captained his team to victory in the ‘Nike Premier Cup’ in 1999, where he was also named ‘Player of the Tournament.’
Club Career (Barcelona)
After leaving his birthplace at a young age, Iniesta entered La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, and made an early impression.
In 2002, at the age of 18, he made his first-team debut. During the 2004–05 season, he started to play frequently.
He stayed with the team until 2018. With 35 trophies, including nine La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, Iniesta is the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time.
He was a crucial member of the Barcelona teams that captured two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015. Iniesta left Barcelona after 22 years and signed with Vissel Kobe in Japan in 2018.
International Career (Spain)
Prior to making his international debut in 2006, Iniesta played for Spain’s Under-16, Under-19, and Under-21 teams.
He contributed to Spain’s victory at UEFA Euro 2008, he played every game and was chosen for the Team of the Tournament.
Iniesta was an integral part of Spain’s 2010 FIFA World Cup winning squad. He scored the game-winning goal against the Netherlands in the final match, earning him Player of the Match honors and a spot on the All-Star Team for the tournament.
At UEFA Euro 2012, Iniesta led Spain to their second consecutive continental crown, again being chosen as the Man of the Match of the final against Italy, and was named the Player of the Tournament.
Iniesta and Anna Ortiz got married on July 8, 2012, after starting to date in 2008. They have two sons, born in 2015 and 2019, as well as two daughters, born in 2011 and 2017.
In March 2014, a miscarriage caused them to lose their unborn son. They had a girl as their fifth child in February 2023.
Iniesta admitted to Risto Mejide in May 2018 that his injuries and Daniel Jarque’s passing caused him to experience depression just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Iniesta and German footballer Lukas Podolski raised awareness and funds for the victims of the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake in Japan in September 2018.